June 21, 2018 Subject:
The Definitive Stella
Maybe it's because SYF was the first live recording of Stella I ever had (and the only one I had for many years), this version has always touched me in a way no other one does. But precisely because I have repeatedly listened to untold other versions in the years since, I can honestly say that this is a truly remarkable and heartachingly beautiful performance of the song.
Surprisingly, Lemieux picked the performance from three days earlier for the GD Movie Soundtrack. I don't know why -- maybe he thought the SYF performance didn't need another release. Or maybe it was because he was only 5 when SYF came out. Regardless, this is the definitive performance of Stella, and it's nice to hear it drained of the extra reverb that was added in the SYF mixdown (something which works well with an open-spaced song like Stella, but, as revealed here, isn't entirely necessary).
February 16, 2017 Subject:
this show is unlistenable. it sounds like the crowd is clapping off beat during most of the show. ruins the jams. I know its a recording flaw but it just sound horrendous.
October 21, 2014 Subject:
Chris U. the "slapback delay" is not a mixdown artifact. Well not exactly, anyway. It seems there were microphones placed out in the room, probably at the front of house soundboard. These mics were assigned tracks on the multitrack recorder. Where ever they were, they were distant enough from the stage that a significant delay existed from the PA to those mics. Somebody did a mix from the multitrack masters and included quite a bit of those mics in it. In order to include those mics and not get that effect, all the sbd channels would be run through a delay to time align the room mics with the sbd. That requires a delay and the knowledge of how to use it.
The effect may have some appeal but it isn't natural sounding at all and gets old quick for most listeners.
October 20, 2014 Subject:
40 years and counting...
I sorta prefer the sound of this to the "officially released" version if only because it's more similar to the cassette that I used to have. The "slapback" delay is some artefact of the mixdown process and you could hear the same sort of thing on the opies of Veneta that floated around in the late 80s and early 90s.
The jewel here is the mysterious and wacky Set II, an hour-long Playin' sandwich that sounds better and better (and makes more sense) with every puff that you are able to stuff into your lungs. This NFA slides down into some dank and funky tunnels before Bobby screams his guts out and the drummers take their turn. The Other One is completely different from any other version you'll here, alternating segments of abstract, nitrous-filled space with some beautiful low-key interplay between the guitars and Phil's towering bass lines. Somehow they pull it all together for a Wharf Rat that will be played perfectly, with Phil and Jerry engaging in some fantastically lovely musical dialog during the intro. The Wharf Rat descends without a bump into the minor keys of the Playin' jam and the music pours back with demonic intensity for a few short minutes until we return to the country-twanged Reprise, played majestically, as if for the last time.
February 3, 2014 Subject:
The “Retirement Show”. The boys had already developed a reputation for blowing the big ones, so they went ahead and pre-named this a big one. This was the only show to have a shot at the Mary Lou Retton perfect 10, per my scoring system.
Cold Rain & Snow opens the show. The balance is great, no issues.
Mama Tried is a good push to get energy going, but it doesn’t get all the way there.
Deal is rather slow.
BIODTL, “last ever”…
During the crashdown for Loser is where I can pin point the set getting some more energy.
Jack Straw is quite psychedelic, the jam at the end is awesome. There is some kind of reverb/delay they didn’t typically use.
TN Jed has the same effect and gets into the X factor zone during the climax, A+ Jed.
El Paso gallops through successfully. I can’t figure out what the effect is still, but it seems to be a delay on the drums, which is funny considering the other drummer will later be joining the band again.
Brokedown is rather strangely placed in the setlist. Effect, slows things down a bit more than I would like.
China>Rider, a great, extended transition here. Jerry rejects the first attempt to go into the feeling good jam and keeps noodling. He does take the second attempt, changing his scale appropriately.
Bobby goes to old reliable in Around & Around to close the set in proper rock ‘n’ roll fashion.
PITB opens the 2nd set, Donna blessing it with a heartfelt shriek. The energy is nice, Mickey back out with the boys to help out! There’s a fine moment of mutual guitar jamming around 6:30, and this kind of interplay is in and out of the entire jam from that moment on. It falls into drums around 14 minutes in. Staying drum-centric, they launch into a NFA, which kind of plods along. We get the first hints of TOO at 11:30 of the NFA, and they do make an effort to have a nice NFA outro. At 14 minutes in Bobby signals TOO, Jerry joins, as does Phil, but it disintegrates into another drummer segment. Phil bombs bring us out, and they go into another rather lackluster jam segment until the 6 minute mark, where it gets the legs that carry it through to the verse. Thankfully Bob doesn’t wait long to start strumming the opening chords to what developed into a fine Wharf Rat. PITB reprises right out of the outro jam of the Rat, which stays at a nice pace to end the set without having paused.
Good Lovin’ to open the third. Unfortunately, the sound quality is so poor here it diminishes what otherwise sounds like it may have been pretty good, though one can’t be sure. Things improve moderately after that, though there is still some issue I can’t accurately name. Through the problem you hear what sounds like it was probably the most energetic of the sets, as told by Promised Land. It’s frustrating, and kills any chance this show had of making top spots. The Eyes>Stella combo is a particularly upsetting “casualty”.
The first set is hit or miss, with more energy building after a slow start. Brokedown really brokedown the momentum. The second set is similar, with less awesome moments, and just as many slumps, unfortunately. Third set is basically unlistenable due to SQ issues.
Pretty awesome in the first set, as this was likely recorded by a lot of people! Set 2 was great too, as the outtakes of the GD Movie. However, there is a nose dive when you hit Good Lovin’. Warbly Bob. It becomes unlistenable. Through the course of the set it gets a bit better, but not a lot. Amazing that this was so bungled. 1st Set = A, 2nd A+, 3rd = D.
Frustrating, this one, due to the botched recording / releases of this and the entire run. How could they screw up something this good? But we'll takes what we can gets - it's good they at least kept one board up here (though for everything post-Seastones I go for the alligator 94851 board. Still sounds like an echo-mud puddle, but the 2nd set is bright and clear, big backbeat and all, FWIW).
Highlights of this LSD-soaked evening of goodbyes and farewells:
*Bobby's affectionately ridiculous attempt to force his acid into the opening lyrics of Mama Tried.
*CC > Rider - last one for a while (until 12/29/77, I believe....) Always a treat.
*Seastones is remarkable, esp. when Jer joins in. I think this bit sounds the best of anything else on this board!
*The 2nd set suite is a beauty, but Good Lovin', in the 3rd, takes it for me. Remember, they brought this one as a one-off, the basic "idea" it being a jam launchpad ala Pigpen. When they returned, Bobby eventually calypso-ed the thing.
The rest of the 3rd set is tough to take, but to all you Donna-haters out there (I'm not one), hey, you're in luck! You can barely hear her!
@deadbass36 re: cryptical tease in Wharf Rat. There was at least one later occurrence of the riff: 6-16-85 at the greek, a brief flashback to this more-than-once powerful riff from '68. 7:25 into the other one. I saw the cryptical segments 8 days later outside cincinnati and there wasn't really a hint at it....great show though... this whole october winterland run is absolutely phenomenal stuff. I like the seastones from 10-18-74 with the long trickle in by jerry, then the rest of the crew, then the tremendous dark star, and brilliant morning dew.
November 21, 2012 Subject:
If you listen closely at around 8:29 in Wharf Rat, you can hear Garcia playing the riff that closes many a Cryptical reprise, not played since 71. I guess he figured this might be the last time. In a way he was right because I don't think he ever played that riff again. Unfortunately Phil's not paying attention, and dances all over it, and Jerry gives it up.
April 6, 2012 Subject:
I always frown upon people who say this the best version of this song, that being said..............This is the best damned version of tenneessee jed!!!!!!!!!!!
The crowd goes absolutely nuts during the final solo.
The rest of my days for a time machine to the seventies
December 4, 2011 Subject:
Of course, the secret of the terrible-sounding, much-maligned 'Steal Your Face' was that it was filled with terrific performances, however pedestrian the song list. Cold Rain & Snow and Stella Blue from this night are no exception, among the best versions of each, ever. The audio here is much improved, with that distinctive sound from that run, and those great late-74 Kreutzmann drums. Love it. Stella is a sublime masterpiece, every note a perfect gem. Yeah, the second set isn't quite as good as it looks, but who cares? Absolutely essential.
February 28, 2010 Subject:
a MUST Have
I cannot begin to describe the wonder of this show. Download it now and bask in the glory of the Dead at the height of their prowess.
That oh um ouch guy/girl nailed the Seastones description. I had never heard of Ned Lagin before. Wow, did that guy have a head on his shoulders or what. Possibly the finest Wharf Rat I have ever heard.5 Stars easily.
Thanks to the powers that be.
January 30, 2009 Subject:
The GRATEFUL DEAD "Live" October 20, 1974 at the Winterland Arena, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
5 Stars for the mix
5 Stars for the recording
5 Stars for the performance
5 Stars for the Matt Smith, Jamie Waddell transfer.
And thanks to Pat Lee for the tapes.
Looks like this one's been commercially released as "GRATEFUL DEAD Movie Soundtrack". So....
Get it while you can get it while it's free, get it now or you'll be sorry...
Yeah, you know it's a MUST HAVE for collectors...
Yeah, it's really good...
30 minutes of Seastones is an exceptional treat. Ned Lagin (pronounced lay-gin) was 20 years ahead of his time. I understand he could compose music for a symphony orchestra in his head, then write it down. Ned is also a big fan of Jazz pianist Bill Evans.
Hope you got it, I did.
Eat, Drink, Be Merry and Listen to the GRATEFUL DEAD.